Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hardly a Harley

Now, I am not a Harley guy.  You know that already.  In fact, when I was thinking about riding at all, I assiduously stayed away from the Harley-Davidson brand.  (Don't stop reading or flame me yet, please.) 

My family, work associates, people who have not seen my bike but know I ride, and many others assume that Harley-Davidson should be or should have been the bike I ride. 

Not so. 

I just never thought of myself stepping out (riding out?) in a black leather, slant-zip motorcycle jacket and chaps, maybe with a bandana around my brow under a half helmet, and wearing fingerless gloves.

Sort of like this fellow:  
Ian Ziering, the voice of Vinnie in Biker Mice from Mars

That's not my style. 

When I started investigating what bike to get, I thought I had enough life left in me to be reasonably competent in handling a bike that has some pretty significant performance capabilities. 

So, that lead to quite a bit of research, a Motorcycle Safety Foundation class, purchase of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R, and my now having ridden almost 45,000 miles on it.

Since I am not a Harley enthusiast, I don't pay much attention to a bike that goes by with that distinctive Harley exhaust beat.  Oh, I am friendly with almost anyone on a bike, stationary or moving, and wave to any other biker that comes along in the other lane.  (Except that those riders on little scooters don't seem to wave very often.  I wonder why they don't.)

The H-Ds just don't catch my eye.  

I hear that you Harley enthusiasts now have a galvanizing situation to face. 

Harley has developed an electric motorcycle called the Livewire. 

True, they only have some prototypes going out to test the concept, and I do confess some engineering interest in it. 

But if I had a Harley, I am not sure I could look her straight in the headlight and explain such a thing to her.  No throbbing exhaust; in fact, only a vacuum cleaner-like sound is emitted from its entrails (and that sound may be electronically generated).  How could you break the news to your baby that the company that birthed her has created a sister with none of the character that has been inherent in the family?

A travesty, I'd say.  Maybe a betrayal, even.  Consider, too, that the thing looks like it was cross bred with a piece of luggage.  And, what is that bulbous silver thing down below?  The rest of the bike is at least subtlety colored, but the silver thing clashes terribly.

It has a range of a few dozen miles, and takes hours to recharge.  What good is a bike with such limited usefulness?  What if its owner wants to take a little longer ride for a change?  Take the cage, I guess. 

Harley owners, rise up and be counted.  This cannot be allowed to continue.  Stand up for your potato-potato-potato sounding breed. 

...and if you have lost all respect for the crew that designed your girl's new sister, then come on over to the other side.  We will welcome you with open arms. 

But if you keep your current ride, how about getting a good full-face helmet and a set of leathers with some protection and character to them?  Like these:
Harley-Davidson Incinerator Retractable Sun Shield Modular Helmet
Alpinestars Monza leather suit
Your chaps will never miss you. 
OK.  I've said my piece.  What do you really think of the bike?  


Chiller tek said...

Meh its a harley. I mean its no R1 now is it....

Anonymous said...

it's no more queer than the V-rod - if it's wrong, it won't live long...

rc5695 said...

you summed 'er pretty well there Bucky. i also highly dislike that gawdy silver thing underneath. Doesn't look too bad otherwise. Still waiting to see who they're buying the "technology" from...